The Second Grade’s Project Stops Styrofoam

Brise H. and Leah S.

Styrofoam is a very harmful item to the environment. About 3 million pieces of it are used each year in the U.S. About 1,800 of those items  were used by Woodbury Heights Elementary School. Also, most of it is either thrown on the ground or in the ocean to cause pollution. Styrofoam doesn’t even decompose until 500 years after the styrofoam goes into the water.

There are many different types of sea creatures in the ocean. Sadly, the biggest threat to ocean life is trash, which has been thrown into, or washed into the ocean. The animals might mistake it for food and try to eat it. When they swallow, it can get stuck inside their body and they can get very sick.

Understanding these issues, the 2018-2019 Woodbury Heights Elementary School second grade classes began a campaign to convince the school board and cafeteria to switch Styrofoam trays to cardboard trays. Additionally,  they are trying to convince other local schools, such as Gateway Regional High School to use less styrofoam, too.

In order to spread their message, the second graders asked students and teachers to scrape any trash from their lunch into the trash can. Then, they put the trays inside a different container. At the end of the week, they counted all of the trays. The total amounted to about 1,800 trays over the course of the year! The cafeteria was shocked by how much was used and after presenting their findings to the School Board, the school started to use cardboard trays instead of styrofoam.

A student in Mrs. Taylor’s class explained how they felt good that they had made a difference, but sad because we used so much styrofoam. Then, Mrs. Taylor explained how she was encouraged to use less styrofoam and she tells everyone about it. The class also explained they were encouraged and excited to get rid of styrofoam trays in other schools!

Mrs. Wells’ class explained how they were excited that they could change something about our school. They learned we used a lot of trays each year and it takes the styrofoam trays so long to decompose. Also, they explained how it can be very toxic to animals